What Is Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation describes the actions that reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by natural or man-made disasters. Hazard mitigation is an important phase in the cycle of emergency management, helping to break the repetitive cycle of damage, repair, and damage again. Mitigation plans and projects are an improvement to the environment or infrastructure that currently exists that will allow a community to be more resilient to disasters. By implementing hazard mitigation actions now, state and local governments can build stronger, safer and smarter communities and reduce future injuries and future damage.
What Are the Benefits of Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation initiatives help communities to:
- Reduce the loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities, and economic hardship before or after a natural disaster occurs;
- Reduce short- and long-term disaster recovery and reconstruction expenses;
- Increase cooperation and communication within community departments and among other stakeholders through the planning process; and
- Increase potential for government funding for disaster recovery and reconstruction projects.
What Are the Tools of Hazard Mitigation?
- Land use planning and regulation of the development in hazard-prone areas, such as prohibiting new construction in a floodplain, along a coastline
- Enforcement of building codes and environmental regulations
- Public safety measures like regular maintenance of roadways, culverts, and dams
- Acquisition of properties in hazard prone areas, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain
- Retrofitting existing structures and improving new construction
- Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
- Community Rating System
- Massachusetts Silver Jackets (USACE)
Where Can I Find Additional Resources?
Information on the current HMA Guidance and Addendum, fact sheets, job aids, data supplements, policies, environmental and historic preservation (EHP) guidance, and benefit-costs analysis guidance can be found in our Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs section.